THE REASON FOR THE PRIZE
How utterly pathetic is it that this man has to share the Nobel Peace price honor with the likes of Al Gore and Barack Obama...
Imprisoned Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo was awarded the 2010 Nobel Peace
Prize on Friday for "his long and non-violent struggle for fundamental
human rights" â€” a decision which produced a bitter reaction from the
[...] Unlike some in China's highly fractured and persecuted dissident
community, the 54-year-old Liu has been an ardent advocate for peaceful,
gradual political change, rather than a violent confrontation with the
government. [...] Liu Xia said she hoped the international community would now press
China to free her husband, adding that the country itself should "have
pride in his selection, and release him from prison." He is serving an
11-year sentence for subversion, which was imposed last year.
She said she had not expected her husband to win. "I can hardly
believe it because my life has been filled with too many bad things,"
she said in an emotional telephone interview with Hong Kong's Cable
I could almost cry reading this. This man is the reason the prize was created, not do-nothing douchebags like Gore and Obama.
As of this writing, the title of the MSNBC article is "Obama to China: Free Nobel-winning dissident". For once I agree with Obama.
How ironic. As one commenter wrote, "Unfortunately the Nobel Peace prize has lost all credibilty after giving it to Barack Hussein Obama!!!"
What does Liu's imprisonment tell us about the weakness of his government? The truly strong do not need to suppress their critics. Only the fragile resort to fatwas. Can cartoons really threaten an entire ideology? Yes, they can.
Posted by: Amritas at October 08, 2010 11:58 AM (5a7nS)
Your URL somehow got embedded into the link. Here it is again:
If only Obama and Gore were do-nothings like the celebrities that get more media attention than Liu ever will. The problem with those two men is that they do too much. Leftists are compelled to change the world. Why can't they just leave us alone? Because that's not as exciting as playing patriarch. We are wayward children who must be shown the error of our ways ... at our own expense.
Posted by: Amritas at October 08, 2010 12:14 PM (RI6GR)
Interesting, Amritas. The title was different when I first saw the article, was something like "Imprisoned Chinese dissident wins Nobel Peace prize."
Posted by: Sarah at October 08, 2010 06:05 PM (7mj5Z)
Sarah, I could be wrong, but when I first clicked on the link to the article, I don't remember seeing Obama's name. Then when I clicked on the link again, I noticed Obama in the title and in the beginning. Perhaps I missed the Obama references the first time. Google has the article on other sites with the title "Chinese dissident wins Nobel Peace Prize". I suspect the article was copied to other sites with that title before the article was updated to include the Obama references. I don't meant to imply anything sinister, though I do wish there were a way to track changes in news stories, just as one can track changes in Wikipedia.
Posted by: Amritas at October 08, 2010 09:20 PM (ke9P1)
Yes, when he won the Peace Prize, I kept saying "this is wrong. This is totally wrong. I hope he doesn't accept it". I don't know if that was reasonable. Heck, it would probably be tough to face the world and turn down, arguably, the most important honor a human being can aspire to earn. But what did he do? In his acceptance speech he even seemed like he was at a loss. Did our wars with muslim countries end? Did other violent countries, such as Iran, stop threatening war and instead shake our American hand in an offer of peace? No. Nothing life changing has happened in his short time in office.
And despite voting for him, it teed me off.
Posted by: Sara at October 09, 2010 03:22 PM (hcSFs)
Evidence that our priorities are completely out of whack...
In the USAA Magazine this month, my husband noticed a section on buying a car. It was adding two cents to common buyer claims. And to the claim "I just need something to get me from here to there," this financial advisor said, "Really? Can you truly be happy with no frills [...] Deep down, you don't want your car to reveal that you're on a tight budget."
And that, dear readers, is part of the reason America is going to hell in a handbasket. Because financial advisors tell us to pretend that we're all ballers. Don't buy a cheap car you can afford; people might think you're living within your means!
I usually love USAA Magazine, so I hope they just worded something badly.
I HOPE what they meant was, "Is that cheaper car really cheaper?" Because what we discovered with our stupid minivan is that, no, the cheaper car was a lot more expensive when you factored in the repairs and stupid crap like that, and spending 5 grand more in the beginning would have saved us more than that in repair bills for a piece of crap that we ended up trading in for a car that is slightly more expensive than others, but has an excellent resale value and a great reputation (which you should totally know, right?).
But if what they meant was what they really said... ugh. AFG commutes to work in a 10 year old Honda Civic, and we love that car more than we love bacon. Okay, not quite. But almost.
Posted by: airforcewife at September 16, 2010 10:20 AM (uE3SA)
AFW, I see no way to reinterpret "Deep down, you don't want your car to reveal that you're on a tight budget" as 'Beware of hidden expenses'. That phrase refers to a buyer's fear of other people's perceptions of them, not the cost of repairing what's under the hood.
I read the entire article. The author is trying to appease every kind of driver she can think of (in this case, the vain), so she is not entirely consistent. No one can please everyone because some people will notice inconsistency and object to it.
She might defend herself by saying, "Yes, I admit I did have vain buyers in mind, but I can't change their attitudes with a single article and at least I am advocating safety which is my number one priority." In other words, she was asking them to find a compromise between vanity and safety. She might also elaborate on her heading "A Perfect Fit: Safe and Comfortable" and state she was referring to mental (i.e., ego) comfort as well as physical comfort.
She is appealing to a subjectivist mindset that emphasizes feelings over reality. False self-esteem based on what others think about you. What will the neighbors think? Who cares? Think for yourself.
Posted by: Amritas at September 16, 2010 11:05 AM (5a7nS)
I am so thankful that my parents taught us by example to only buy vehicles we can pay for with cash. Never having to worry about a car payment makes me a happy camper.
Posted by: Lucy at September 16, 2010 11:52 AM (IDfv2)
Doesn't USAA finance car loans for members? So, there's a pretty clear motivation to encourage their readers to buy a more expensive car. I'm just saying'.
Posted by: Christa at September 16, 2010 01:37 PM (2qSbp)
When I read the article, what kind of irked me was the interpretation that if you were saving money, you were then shorting yourself on safety features. Um, not true...kind of like the same taunting you may get from the medical professionals if you complain about overly invasive prenatal care: well, obviously you don't care about the health of your unborn baby!
That's enough to make me want to write something to the magazine. Who's editing crap-ola like that? Holy shit, I actually pay for things out of envelopes and stop driving if I don't have anymore gas money and we're nearing the end of the month! And I don't get embarrassed anymore if I have to turn down lunch dates. That FA can bite me.
Posted by: Sara at September 16, 2010 08:10 PM (tz27a)
I appreciate the eye you keep for these kinds of things and for calling them out for what they are! I find so often that people refuse to believe that what's being said is really being said. When something is said long enough, though, it starts creeping into the cultural psyche and pretty soon we have citizens [and non] demanding the right not only to be gifted money but also to APPEAR to be wealthy. Which, of course, means more money. . . .
I can't tell you the number of times we've questioned why we try to be financially responsible [and frugal] when it seems everybody else is throwing money around like they're going to get double back what they've spent! And God help the person [like you] who actually points out what's going on.
Thanks for taking the stand.
Posted by: queenie at September 20, 2010 12:28 PM (QNScr)
Just today, there was an item somewhere on car companies being worried because younger people aren't viewing cars as status symbols as much as they used to be considered...
Posted by: david foster at September 21, 2010 09:08 AM (Gis4X)
David, the spread of common sense is good news.
The less one drives, the less status one's car conveys.
Posted by: Amritas at September 21, 2010 10:40 AM (5a7nS)
That's a bit egocentric. My two sisters and I all recently traded our pretty girl cars for beaters that were bought lock stock n barrel for under 1k to be out of debt. Ya I own a 91golf. No I don't want an upgrade.
Posted by: Darla at September 26, 2010 03:17 AM (t/qhR)
I'm sorry that Mr. Duncan passed,but what timing! Good. The government had probably already taxed that money six times over already. Enough is enough. I hope his family all manage to continue Mr. Duncan's example by doing good works with that wealth.
Posted by: MaryIndiana at June 14, 2010 11:26 PM (bYhj5)
I haven't followed the Texas textbook controversy very closely, but I find it interestingly absurd that people are debating whether we should include American exceptionalism in the curriculum. What makes me snicker is the thought of Asian countries; to my knowledge, there is no debate in Japan over whether Japan is the greatest country to exist. Nor in Korea, nor in China. The idea that we are fighting over whether we should teach our children that the USA is #1 strikes me as funny, in a sad way.
If the debate in Texas were over the divine origins of American exceptionalism, that is whether the Founding Fathers were divinely inspired to embark on this American experiment or not, it would make more sense to me. But I find it depressing that we're arguing over whether we should teach our children that the origins of our country were special, that unlike other countries around the world the US is not based on ethnicity or culture but on a unique idea that anyone can ascribe to.
The US is exceptional in that regard. And no, Pres Obama, not in the same way that Greeks are.
As someone who has been annoyed by Chinese, Japanese, and Korean nationalism for years, I am not sure that "we should include American exceptionalism in the curriculum." I don't know what exactly is meant by that. To teach children that the US is #1 in this field or that field, that the US has freedoms that other countries do not have - those are all facts based in reality. To teach that the US is a Europpressive dystopia which was beyond redemption until the election of Obama is to deny reality. But I oppose overly teaching that "that the USA is #1." Teach the facts, and the conclusion of American exceptionalism becomes obvious. Teach a simple belief, and young skeptics who feel manipulated by propaganda will grow up into anti-American Leftist intellectuals. Let patriotism grow; pushing it may create more enemies.
Posted by: Amritas at May 23, 2010 04:22 PM (hBtE2)
What true Leftist doesn't believe in American exceptionalism? No country has been more eeeevil than the US until Hopenchange Day 2008. It will take millennia of government programs to eradicate the legacy of being the #1 bad guy for over two centuries.
Ann Althouse and Tom Maguire both have good articles fisking, or clarifying, the articles in the Washington Post and New York Times on the Texas School Book controversy. Volohk also has a post with a great many comments mostly con on the decision and Althouse. I am a Texan and have grandchildren in school in San Antonio. They are AP students and get a very good schooling, I believe. But there are gaps in the history and civics books and I am hoping this clears them up. I wish it was not such a big deal. I frankly think each school board should decide their own curriculum as the colleges and universities do. That could be, unfortunately, very liberal, but maybe very interesting. One of my grand daughters was home schooled until middle school. Sarah, get started now teaching the baby. Read to her if you are not already doing so. Just a hint from a granny...
Posted by: Ruth H at May 23, 2010 05:52 PM (KLwh4)
My children are blessed to have been born, raised, and living in THE GREATEST country in the entire world. My husband is proud to serve in the Army of THE GREATEST country in the entire world. I am proud to be a citizen of THE GREATEST country in the entire world.
I may be over-simplifying it. I may misunderstand the issue. I may be missing it entirely, but in case I'm not we've got it covered. Whatever the schools may be teaching, *I* will be sure to educate my children on our rights, our responsibilities, and our blessings in being citizens of The United States of America, THE GREATEST country in the entire world.
Obama clearly doesn't think there's anything special about this country, except for bad things, and he obviously doesn't like us, the American people, very much. So why did he want to be our president?
EVERYBODY DRAW MUHAMMAD DAY
I know it's awful, but that's not the point. The point is that it's a generic depiction of Muhammad and I'm participating in today because I think it's important. Let us not be cowed.
CVG sent me a link about the banning of raw milk. Personally, I've never even given raw milk a thought, but I do care deeply about the Constitution. And the umbrella of "interstate commerce" is really out of hand these days.
I love how all these little issues are cropping up to test the 10th Amendment lately, and they range from rightwing nutjob issues like the made-in-Montana guns to flaming lefty causes like medicinal marijuana or raw milk.
We're all being encroached on by the federal government, left and right. Let the hippies drink their raw milk, for pete's sake.
Discussions about the Commerce Clause & its interpretation by the Court always made me agitated in Con Law class. Seeing it play out in real life is doubly annoying. It is entirely too unwieldy in its span & should have been reeled in ages ago.
Posted by: Guard Wife at May 14, 2010 11:41 AM (evJH6)
I can't remember where I read/heard the statement, but in the last few days I remember someone saying (paraphrased), "The rationale for these laws is that if just ONE person is saved it is worth it. I don't agree with that, because you can't save everyone."
I'm sure I paraphrased that terribly badly, but it's true. We'll ban Happy Meals because it's worth it if just one kid isn't a fatass? No, I'm sorry, it's NOT worth it. It's not. We have freedom, but we also have responsibility, and the government and the "Smart People" (I did love that post) are trying to make us back into irresponsible children.
Posted by: airforcewife at May 14, 2010 04:22 PM (uE3SA)
From Walter Miller's great novel, A Canticle for Leibowitz:
"To minimize suffering and to maximize security were natural and proper
ends of society and Caesar. But then they became the only ends,
somehow, and the only basis of lawâ€”a perversion. Inevitably, then, in
seeking only them, we found only their opposites: maximum suffering and
EVERYBODY DRAW MUHAMMAD
After so many years, it's not surprising that South Park would have some hit or miss episodes, but the previous two episodes were fantastic. Good for Parker and Stone for pushing the Islam envelope, and shame on Comedy Central for once again caving to pressure. You have to beep Muhammad's name and black him out when he's wearing a bear costume? Thanks for showing how deep the hypocrisy goes. Buddha can do coke, and Jesus watches porn and poops on George Bush...but we can't even say the name Muhammad on TV anymore.
Free speech is easy to defend when it's uncontroversial. All this hullabaloo about freedom of speech to criticize Bush's war or Obama's health care plan. No one is threatening our freedom to do any of that. We throw around "freedom of speech" for the frivolous things and like to pretend we're being brave by "speaking truth to power." Oooh, your "free speech" might get some mean comments on your blog or make your co-worker ticked off. But there is a real and growing threat from radical Islam that we've been childishly ignoring for far too long. It is times like this that it's most important to stand up and defend the right of cartoonists to draw whatever satire they wish. It's crucial to make a stand and say that we refuse to be cowed by ignorant barbarians who seek to threaten and murder others for holding different beliefs. Or just for making a joke they don't like.
I'm drawing Muhammad here on May 20th. The lady who came up with the idea for the day may have decided she's too scared to stand up for her values, but I think it's of the utmost importance for many people to band together and say that we're not going to accept this pandering to Muslims anymore.
And if I were Parker and Stone, I'd put Muhammad in every single episode from now on.
AGREED! I saw a tweet from someone I follow the other day. It was awesome, so I'll just copy and paste it here:
"Derka derka. RT @ExJon: If your
religion is endangered by a crudely drawn cartoon, it's time to
re-evaluate your belief system. #teamsouthpark"
I think I will participate in Everybody Draw Muhammed day, too. Sounds like fun.
Posted by: Deltasierra at April 26, 2010 06:47 PM (/Mv9b)
The South Park incident reminded me of a passage from Sebastian Haffner's memoir about growing up in Germany in the 1930s. Haffner was a refendar, something like a law clerk, at the Kammergericht, the Prussian high court. That morning, the court had bowed to the Nazis demands and all Jewish judges and other employees had been expelled. In the evening, Haffner went to a comedy club, the Katakombe, with his girlfriend. The performer was a man named Werner Fink:
His act remained full of harmless amiability in a country where
these qualities were on the liquidation list. This harmless amiability
hid a kernel of real, indomitable courage. He dared to speak openly
about the reality of the Nazis, and that in the middle of Germany. His
patter contained references to concentration camps, the raids on
peopleâ€™s homes, the general fear and general lies. He spoke of these
things with infinitely quiet mockery, melancholy, and sadness. Listening
to him was extraordinarily comforting.
In the morning, the Prussian Kammergericht, with its tradition of
hundreds of years, had ignobly capitulated before the Nazis. In the same
evening, a small troop of artistes, with no tradition to back them up,
demonstrated the courage to speak forbidden thoughts. "The Kammergericht
had fallen but the Katakombe stood upright."
Great idea but why limit it to one day and just a picture? We should name our dogs Mohammed, our pork dishes should have the name Mohammed in them (Mohammed ribs anyone?) and lastly we should call our more unpleasant tasks/experiences after the war mongering, pedophile - â€œMan, I just took a big ole Mohammedâ€., â€œDude, you just stepped in Mohammed.â€ The possibilities are endless!
SORRY, MOM, THE MOB HAS SPOKEN!
We interrupt my boring posts about not having a baby yet to bring you this...
OK, Republicans, take a deep breath. Or at least I need to take a deep breath, before I slap you senseless.
Scott Brown? Really? Really?
Hey, Obama sucks because he wasn't vetted and he'd only been in government for five minutes. He just won because he was charismatic and had some good slogans during the campaign. Hey, I know, let's do the exact same thing on our side! Let's get behind the flavor of the month!
I don't even think it's possible to type the amount of sarcasm I want this post to be dripping with.
Maybe Scott Brown would make a fine president someday, I don't know. But not now. Are you people insane? Does the entire electorate just get distracted by something shiny and lose their everlovin' minds?
I can't help but feel lately that we're all as dumb as the people of Springfield. We're all set to spend our money wisely to fix potholes when the flashy monorail salesman promises us hope and change.
And then we just follow like lemmings right off the cliff.
Well, except we don't even have the fix-the-potholes plan. 42% of us have no idea who we'll support next. It's a pretty barren field.
But not Scott Brown, for heaven's sake. Just let's kill that idea right this instant.
I'm part of the 14% on this poll. What is this world coming to--a Playboy centerfold as our president? I guess they think he's cute! Everyone thought Obama was, and look at what we got! Ugh!
Posted by: Nancy at February 23, 2010 09:59 AM (gWUle)
I'm actually relieved the Brown figure is only 4%. I would have guessed that it was higher. Nonetheless, I'm glad you and your mother are speaking out against the Scott Brown craze. As somebody asked, how many Scott Brown supporters knew anything about the guy? At least Romney, Palin, and McCain are known quantities.
Right now, I support no one on that list. And I still think the wrong Sarah is running for president.
Posted by: Amritas at February 23, 2010 11:52 AM (+nV09)
Was this poll taken before that jobs vote? And before Romney endorsed McCain? I think Romney is a little too slick. I have no idea who I really trust as president, I'm still waiting for the man on the white horse.
Posted by: Ruth H at February 23, 2010 01:24 PM (KLwh4)
Totally a barren field. I'm frustrated about that beyond belief.
And I'm with AWTM - every time I see Scott Brown on tv the J. Geils Band starts rotating through my head.
Posted by: airforcewife at February 23, 2010 01:39 PM (uE3SA)
I just read earlier that Romney endorsed McCain. What's with that? Honestly, there are no really good candidates in the poll, but I hate to get someone else again who nobody knows. Scarey!
Posted by: Nancy at February 23, 2010 05:09 PM (gWUle)
They better find someone who is not polling more than 1% on that list. Otherwise we are guaranteed four more years of His Highness. PIMM.
Posted by: wifeunit at February 24, 2010 12:05 PM (4B1kO)
OABMA TELLS 9/11 HEROES TO GET BENT
Wow. So we can give Landrieu $300 million to bribe her for her vote, and we can give $50 million to relocated wild horses, and build a turtle tunnel, and give tax credits for eco-friendly golf carts...but it's apparently too much to ask for Pres Obama to fund medical care for those dealing with long-term illness caused by 9/11. Nice priorities.
I would, once again, like to reiterate. I did not vote for him, and I tried to warn people.
Sadly, people don't seem to care that he does this stuff. WTH are our priorities?!?!?
Posted by: Amber at January 30, 2010 01:50 PM (kQtM0)
As usual, our Obamessiah is intouch with our concerns, not yours.
Landrieu is one of us. She can spend $300 million more wisely than mere peasants, I mean, taxpayers.
We care more about animals than you. Horses and turtles, yes, Omericans other than ourselves, no.
And golf carts are our kind of vehicles. We will make you all drive them someday. If they're good enough for us (except when we visit Copenhagen), they're good enough for you. Possibly too good. You should be walking ... within the perimeters permitted by your Soviet-styleinternal passports.
9/11 is ancient history. Let us look ahead to our glorious future of peace with Greater Iran! Islam is peace!
We agree with an American soldier for once. What will be the outcome of all our efforts?
Once we made Iraq an
officially Islamic country I knew that it would become among our worst
enemies. (The same is true for Afghanistan.) I said years ago that the
end result of our efforts will be that Iraq will be a rebuilt nation
better prepared than ever to wage jihad against us.
The US loves to empower its enemies. How many Iranian nuclear physicists were trained in the US? How many Mohammad Alavis haven't been caught yet?
Despite the name he acquired from his father, an immigrant from Syria, Hammami was every bit as Alabaman as his mother, a warm, plain-spoken woman who sprinkles her conversation with blandishments like â€œsugarâ€ and â€œdarlinâ€™.â€ [...]â€œIt felt cool just to be with him,â€ his best friend at the time [in high school], Trey Gunter, said recently. â€œYou knew he was going to be a leader.â€
A decade later, Hammami has fulfilled that promise in the most unimaginable way. Some 8,500 miles from Alabama, on the eastern edge of Africa, he has become a key figure in one of the worldâ€™s most ruthless Islamist insurgencies. That guerrilla army, known as the Shabab, is fighting to overthrow the fragile American-backed Somali government.
Posted by: kevin at January 30, 2010 02:01 PM (ke9P1)
A LEGAL WALL OR A TURF WAR?
I finished reading The Looming Tower, and Dean Barnett was right: it was very good.
One thing I am curious about is the wall between the CIA and the FBI. I had always understood it to be a legal thing, that the two branches were forbidden to share intel. But this book makes it sound more like a turf war instead, that some of the more egotistical officers intentionally withheld information from each other because they didn't like the other branch's approach.
Does anyone know more about this, or have links they could point me to? In reading Ashcroft's book last year, I never got the sense that our intelligence gatherers were being petty and tribal. But this book gave that impression.
"The wall generally forbidding intelligence agents from communicating with their criminal counterparts was a suicidally excessive way to ensure that what little information intelligence agents were permitted to pass would be admissible in court. This is the product of a mindset that insists, beyond all reason and common sense, that terrorism is just a law-enforcement problem. The object of a rational counterterrorism approach is to prevent mass murder from happening in the first place, not to improve your litigating posture for the indictment you return after thousands of people have been slaughtered."
Posted by: jw at January 26, 2010 11:29 AM (spEu4)
Thanks, jw! I was wondering what the rationale for the wall was.
As for the CIA and FBI being "petty and tribal," those traits seem hardwired into the human species. Our team won't help your team. Our team doesn't need help for your team. But aren't both teams supposed to be part of Team America?
Posted by: Amritas at January 26, 2010 01:26 PM (+nV09)
YOU DON'T "ALLOW" ME SQUAT
I think people are fed up with politics. I think we're tired of politicians who think they're better than us or that they're entitled to their jobs and a ritzy lifestyle. This frustration seemed to be captured perfectly when Scott Brown said that he wasn't running for Ted Kennedy's seat. "It's the people's seat." It doesn't belong to Ted Kennedy, and, as Jonah Goldberg said,
[Coakley] hasnâ€™t been running for â€œTed Kennedyâ€™s seat,â€ sheâ€™s been strolling
to it like someone who knows itâ€™s been reserved for her and all she
needs to do is swing by the will-call window to pick it up. [...] When asked if her campaign style is too aloof, she snapped back: â€œAs
opposed to standing outside Fenway Park [the way Scott Brown does]? In
the cold? Shaking hands?â€
Heaven forfend the royal heir apparent descend from her carriage and actually touch the proles.
The radio host, Ken Pittman, pointed out that complex legal principle
that "In the emergency room you still have your religious freedom."
agrees that "The law says that people are allowed to have that." But,
making clear her view â€” the attorney general who wants to be the next
senator from Massachusetts â€” she declared that "You can have religious
freedom, but you probably shouldn't work in an emergency room."
"The law says that people are allowed to have that." Let that sink in. Martha Coakley says that it's the laws that politicians write that allow you to have freedom of religion.
Our Bill of Rights is an enumeration of our inalienable rights. The government does not grant us those rights; we are endowed by our Creator with them and the government cannot infringe upon them. We are born with them and have them as an inherent part of being human.
I can't even explain how mad it makes me to hear a politician say that the government allows us to have freedom of religion.
Some people would say that the difference between being "allowed" to do something and not being hindered from doing something is mere semantics.
I share your anger, because it is NOT semantics. If someone is "allowed" to do something, it is a privilege that can be taken away. And once a person becomes conditioned to hearing that they are "allowed" something, they become less likely to assert themselves for that right if it is taken away or infringed upon.
We are not allowed rights, they are something we already have. The government is allowed to infringe upon certain rights for the common good. For lack of a better analogy - WE are the parents in this situation. WE allow the government to do things.
WE can take the government's right to do certain things away. This relationship is not and should never be the other way around. And what scares me is that the situation sure seems to be moving in that direction.
Posted by: airforcewife at January 15, 2010 10:53 AM (uE3SA)
Old Cold War joke: In America, when the people don't approve of the government, they change out the government. In the Soviet Union, when the government doesn't like the people, they change out the people.
It's pretty clear that Obama's strongest support base includes many individuals who don't like the American people very much at all.
Posted by: david foster at January 15, 2010 12:06 PM (uWlpq)
Posted by: MaryIndiana at January 16, 2010 12:30 AM (VXNTm)
You wouldn't believe the pushback I got when I posted about not letting the walmart door receipt-checkers search my bags as I left. Its a blatant violation of my right to be secure in my person from unreasonable search, and yet people took it as "the cost of doing business" and "the store's RIGHT to protect itself from theft."
Too many people don't understand their rights, the powers of the state, or the powers of the federal government. If they did, there would be no TSA.
Posted by: Chuck Z at January 16, 2010 10:47 AM (bMH2g)
May I just say that my husband and I AND our eldest daughter will be at the polls with bells on come Tuesday and we are NOT voting for her highness!
Posted by: Lemon Stand at January 17, 2010 10:35 PM (Ib10R)
ON THE CUSP OF BONDAGE
North Koreans, deprived of liberty, are fighting back against baseless edicts and clamoring for a bit of capitalism and modernism. Even if it means death when caught.
Americans, on the other hand, are slowly and stupidly relinquishing all personal responsibility to the State, opting instead for security and coddling.
I used to think that the United States was the only place on earth I'd care to live. But I'm afraid I might not be able to say that in 20 years. I keep thinking of the words of Henning Prentis:
Paradoxically enough, the release of initiative and enterprise made
possible by popular self-government ultimately generates disintegrating
forces from within. Again and again after freedom has brought
opportunity and some degree of plenty, the competent become selfish,
luxury-loving and complacent, the incompetent and the unfortunate grow
envious and covetous, and all three groups turn aside from the hard
road of freedom to worship the Golden Calf of economic security. The historical cycle seems to
be: From bondage to spiritual faith; from spiritual faith to courage;
from courage to liberty; from liberty to abundance; from abundance to
selfishness; from selfishness to apathy; from apathy to dependency; and
from dependency back to bondage once more.
I'm afraid we're on the cusp of bondage once more.
A big part of the problem is the growth of what can only be called *nihilism* among Western elites...people who feel so cold inside that they desperately want to feel warm, even if from fires of destruction. In the words of the now-defunct Italian blogger who called herself Joy of Knitting:
"Cupio dissolvi...These words have been going through my mind for quite a long time now. It's Latin. They mean "I (deeply) wish to be annihilated/to annihilate myself", the passive form signifying that the action can be carried out both by an external agent or by the subject himself...Cupio dissolvi... Through all the screaming and the shouting and the wailing and the waving of the rainbow cloth by those who invoke peace but want appeasement, I hear these terrible words ringing in my ears. These people have had this precious gift, this civilization, and they have got bored with it. They take all the advantages it offers them for granted, and despise the ideals that have powered it. They wish for annihilation, the next new thing, as if it was a wonderful party. Won't it be great, dancing on the ruins?"
When I saw her post in 2004, it immediately reminded me of a passage from Walter Miller's great philosophical novel A Canticle for Leibowitz:
"The closer men came to perfecting for themselves a paradise, the more impatient they seemed to become with it, and with themselves as well. They made a garden of pleasure, and became progressively more miserable with it as it grew into richness and power and beauty; for then, perhaps, it was easier for them to see that something was missing in the garden, some tree or shrub that would not grow. When the world was in darkness and wretchedness, it could believe in perfection and yearn for it. But when the world became bright with reason and riches, it began to sense the narrowness of the needleâ€™s eye, and that rankled for a world no longer willing to believe or yearn. Well, they were going to destroy it again, were they-this garden Earth, civilized and knowing, to be torn apart again that Man might hope again in wretched darkness.â€
Posted by: david foster at December 27, 2009 04:43 PM (uWlpq)
I think one of the great challenges of life is to keep our individual attitudes cycling through those faith-courage-liberty-abundance phases. Honestly, society doesn't decay without sufficient individual decay; and the individual dependencies and attitudes that are so individually destructive are ... hmm... perhaps "accreting" is the right word.
At any rate, that's why - IMO - we have to work from the local level, up, right now. We can't impose self-respect, humility, and appreciation of liberty & its associated ideals on people; we need to get out and *inspire* those things.
Posted by: Krista at December 27, 2009 06:21 PM (sUTgZ)
So once again we see the foolishness of complaceniks who drone the fatuous cliches about how "in this struggle, scholarships will be far more important than smart bombs".
The men eager to self-detonate on infidel airliners are not goatherds
from the caves of Waziristan but educated middle-class Muslims who have
had the most exposure to the western world and could be pulling down
six-figure salaries almost anywhere on the planet.
Is this the parallel phenomenon to how only rich Americans want us to return to nature and save the planet by all acting Amish?
And now it's looking like we're not going to be able to do anything on a plane but sit quietly with our hands folded in our laps. Steyn goes on to say:
Playing the game this way lets the terrorists set the rules and forces
us to react defensively to every innovation. What difference does it
make whether the plot succeeds? After all, long after Richard Reid has
died of old age in prison, we'll still be removing our footwear in
eternal homage to the thwarted shoebomber.
Thanks to the quick thinking of Jasper Schuringa, another inept terrorist was foiled. Seems like maybe these highly educated terrorists ought to have paid better attention in chemistry class. Thank heavens for us they didn't.
But that won't stop government from taking away our bathroom breaks and blankets on planes now.
"I too am overwhelmed by the events unfolding in our country."
It's been a long year. How will we feel by the end of 2012? Obama's last year in office - now that should be made into a disaster movie!
Leftism is all about redistribution. Taking your money and giving it to others without your consent. Moving jihadis back to jihadistans.
AFW, they will behave ... in accordance with sharia, the only law that matters to them.
The only law that matters is that of Interpol, not some archaic documents from a period most Omericans don't care about. Newsweek said we're all socialists now. We're also all subject to extradition now! (Except for those jihadis. We must not violate their rights to remain in dar al-Islam.)
Posted by: Amritas at December 23, 2009 07:50 PM (dWG01)
Posted by: MaryIndiana at December 23, 2009 11:54 PM (Q6bHD)
But hey! When those released gentlemen return to the US, INTERPOL will be there to nab them!
Posted by: Deskmerc at December 24, 2009 03:11 AM (pYOXQ)
Mary -- Mark Steyn said yesterday that Harry Reid was on TV answering some question about health care with something like "Well, the American people don't care about those details." As if they even speak for us anymore! Gah!
Posted by: Sarah at December 24, 2009 08:09 AM (gWUle)
It's too bad there's a $2 million dollar minimum, or I'd rat out the pizza delivery guy who came here a few weeks ago. I paid for the pizza over the phone but handed him a cash tip when he arrived. He said, "Ooh, we love cash tips because then we don't have to report them." Can I tell you, I had half a mind to snatch it back from him that instant...
My girls are both in Girl Scouts, and there is a LOT about what the organization has become that makes me want to turn around and run the other way.
On the other hand, the implementation of a lot of that stuff depends on the type of troop and area you are in. My #2 girl is in a more conservative Catholic School affiliated troop, and #3's troop has been the single most supportive non-military activity our family has had contact with while AFG is gone. And there's no other way we could afford summer camp for the girls (outside of Girl Scouts it can run into the thousands).
And, first and foremost for our reasoning, I've already told my kids they are responsible for their own college bills - as I was responsible for mine. But since I'm making that rule, I figure it's also my responsibility to make every effort to ensure they have access to everything they need to get into a good college with a scholarship. And Girl Scouts is a big step towards that (if they do it the whole way through school).
So, we end up trying to make the best of it. And it works (so far) with tweaking.
The contrast between Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts is enormous, though. ENORMOUS, as I found out when the boy became a cub scout this year.
Oh - and I'm a total Samoa addict. Best cookies in the Girl Scout arsenal, hands down.
Posted by: airforcewife at December 16, 2009 11:13 AM (uE3SA)
AFW -- I wondered what your girls' troops were like. I figured if they were all eco- and lefty, I would've heard about it from you by now!
Posted by: Sarah at December 16, 2009 12:32 PM (gWUle)
Looks like Girl Scouts have changed a lot since I was one back in the day. If you want to satisfy your craving for Samoas without contributing to that, I found this recipe awhile ago and they're pretty amazing. I took them into work once and they were gone in about 10 minutes.
Posted by: Sespi at December 16, 2009 03:01 PM (vT6nv)
Boy scouts went round the bend for Injuns and all that crap years ago. I can remember when it was all "Mark Trail", hunting, camping, fishing, survival, great living in grubby times, and service projects.
Now it seems like that is a far distant second to fundraisers to support the next fundraiser.
That was my experience at the den in western PA.
Now, here at Fort Leavenworth, the pack is run by Army officers. The boys learned how to use block and tackle, wiches and pulleys from an Army TM. They learn how to tie ropes into knots from the Ranger handbook, and are instructed by Rangers themselves. They camp out, take knives with them, and have a jamboree that cost all of $5 per scout--for the food they would eat, and dads provided some of our field gear for tents, sleeping bags, shelters, etc.
They learned to rough it--and LOVED IT.
Girl scouts for my daughter is still in the Daisy phase, so beyond cookie sales and macaroni art, I can't pass judgment.
But she did come home from school the other day telling me all about glowball warmening. I told her it was all just made up stories, told by scientists who were bad at math and couldn't prove their stories without lying. I asked her teacher about it today. I asked if it was real, why are the computer models used to predict climate change decades in the future, unable to accurately predict YESTERDAYS weather?
/Sorry, off topic. I support the local cookie dealer because she has big, beautiful blue eyes, and I loves me some samoas.
Posted by: Chuck Z at December 17, 2009 12:00 AM (bMH2g)
Before I clicked on the links, I imagined kevin's idea of Grrrrl Scouts. Then I read the WND article. It's closer than I expected, though I think it's over the top.
Posted by: Amritas at December 18, 2009 05:46 PM (dWG01)
I have half a case of Samoas in the storage room. Want some?
I've ignored the "journeys" for GS since they were introduced, too lefty for me, and I'm the leader, so I can do what I want
Posted by: Susan at December 18, 2009 08:23 PM (Y8ZGj)
COME HERE WHILE IT'S STILL GOOD
French singer Johnny Hallyday got an operation in France that went wrong, his producer says:
Camus, speaking Friday on French radio, said
the American medical team treating Hallyday said the rocker had
suffered ill-effects from the operation in France, and that infection
"was attacking his bone marrow."
what I'm being told in the United States is true, this operation was a
massacre," he said on RTL radio. On France-Info, Camus said: "It seems
the Americans fixed things that they found that were very badly done."
So now he's in L.A. recovering in an induced coma.
Hmm, where will rich and famous people go for medical treatment once our system is crap too?
Hallyday supported Nicolas Sarkozy in the 2007 French presidential election. In an ironic twist, when the Canadian comedy duo the Masked Avengers prank-called American vice-presidential nominee Sarah Palin by pretending to be Sarkozy, they named Hallyday as Sarkozy's "Special American Advisor."
Our Sarah asks:
Hmm, where will rich and famous people go for medical treatment once our system is crap too?
propaganda in Sicko so outraged people cursed by fate to live in
Castro's fiefdom that they risked their lives by using hidden cameras
to film conditions in genuine Cuban hospitals, hoping they could alert
the world to Moore's swinishness as a propaganda operative for a
Stalinist regime. At enormous risk, two hours of shocking, often revolting, footage was obtained with tiny hidden cameras and smuggled out of Cuba [...]
Originally, ABC's John
Stossel planned to show the shocking videos in their entirety, during a
20/20 show. Alas, on Sept. 12th 2007, the 20/20 show ran only a tiny
segment on Cuba's "real" healthcare, barely 5 minutes long and with
almost none of the smuggled video footage. What happened? Well,
the Castro regime got wind of these videos and called in ABC's Havana
bureau for a little talking-to, stressing that ABC's "bureau permit"
might face "closer scrutiny" if they showed the blockbuster videos.
ABC (and yes, Stossel, whom we all otherwise admire) wimped out.
I'd like to hear Stossel's side of the story. I don't think I'd like to see the videos. Just reading that article was disturbing enough. I can't bring myself to quote the details here.
Posted by: Amritas at December 14, 2009 03:35 PM (dWG01)
PLANE STUPID INDEED
OK, this ad is gruesome and awful taken at face value, but add the fact that bodies are falling from skyscrapers with noises of jet engines in the background...am I the only one who got creepy 9/11 flashbacks? Oy.
Perhaps the 9/11 parallels were intentional. It takes a lot to shock the viewer into the action. Like drowning puppies:
The fear-mongers haven't won enough converts to their cause with myths about dying polar bears[the official mascot of warmism?] which we cover in our documentary Not Evil Just Wrong, so now they are drowning a puppy in a nationally televised bedtime story in the United Kingdom.
The British government is spending the equivalent of nearly $9.6 million to run advertisements produced as part of the "Act On CO2"
program. The story in the ad features an ominous carbon monster spewing
black soot from the sky, a restaurant named "The World's End," a
weeping bunny and an animated puppy that disappears underwater before a
The question is, what are viewers supposed to do after seeing such ads? Are they supposed to cancel their flights and ride boats? But wait, boats are bad for the environment too. So the viewers should stay home. But wait, humans exhale carbon dioxide. Each and every one of us is a greenhouse gas factory. And all factories must be shut down forever!
Of course, some factories are more equal than others. As CVG pointed out,
Yeah, I loved the fact that there were like 140 private planes used to reach the summit.
Those 140 private planes were, like, eco-friendly, maaaan. They were, like, powered by positive green vibes. Their psychic engines make an "Ommmm" noise. Just like the engines of the 1,200 limos. Imagine how much pollution they produced on the way to Copenhagen:
"We haven't got
enough limos in the country [Denmark] to fulfil the demand," she says. "We're
having to drive them in hundreds of miles from Germany and Sweden."
That was from the article David quoted:
Copenhagen is preparing for the climate change summit that will produce as much carbon dioxide as a town the size of Middlesbrough.
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There is neither happiness nor misery in the world; there is only the comparison of one state with another, nothing more. He who has felt the deepest grief is best able to experience supreme happiness. We must have felt what it is to die, Morrel, that we may appreciate the enjoyments of living. --The Count of Monte Cristo--
While our troops go out to defend our country, it is incumbent upon us to make the country worth defending. --Deskmerc--
Contrary to what you've just seen, war is neither glamorous nor fun. There are no winners, only losers. There are no good wars, with the following exceptions: The American Revolution, WWII, and the Star Wars Trilogy. --Bart Simpson--
If you want to be a peacemaker, you've gotta learn to kick ass. --Sheriff of East Houston, Superman II--
Going to war without France is like going deer hunting without an accordion. You just leave a lot of useless noisy baggage behind. --Jed Babbin--
Dante once said that the hottest places in hell are reserved for those who in a period of moral crisis maintain their neutrality. --President John F. Kennedy--
War is a bloody, killing business. You've got to spill their blood, or they will spill yours. --General Patton--
We've gotta keep our heads until this peace craze blows over. --Full Metal Jacket--
Those who threaten us and kill innocents around the world do not need to be treated more sensitively. They need to be destroyed. --Dick Cheney--
The Flag has to come first if freedom is to survive. --Col Steven Arrington--
The purpose of diplomacy isn't to make us feel good about Eurocentric diplomatic skills, and having countries from the axis of chocolate tie our shoelaces together does nothing to advance our infantry. --Sir George--
I just don't care about the criticism I receive every day, because I know the cause I defend is right. --Oriol--
It's days like this when we're reminded that freedom isn't free. --Chaplain Jacob--
Bumper stickers aren't going to accomplish some of the missions this country is going to face. --David Smith--
The success of multilateralism is measured not merely by following a process, but by achieving results. --President Bush--
Live and act within the limit of your knowledge and keep expanding it to the limit of your life.
First, go buy a six pack and swig it all down. Then, watch Ace Ventura. And after that, buy a Hard Rock Cafe shirt and come talk to me. You really need to lighten up, man.
You've got to kill people, and when you've killed enough they stop fighting --General Curtis Lemay--
If we wish to be free, if we mean to preserve inviolate those inestimable privileges for which we have been so long contending, if we mean not basely to abandon the noble struggle in which we have been so long engaged, and which we have pledged ourselves never to abandon until the glorious object of our contest shall be obtained -- we must fight! --Patrick Henry--
America has never been united by blood or birth or soil. We are bound by ideals that move us beyond our backgrounds, lift us above our interests and teach us what it means to be citizens. Every child must be taught these principles. Every citizen must uphold them. And every immigrant, by embracing these ideals, makes our country more, not less, American. --President George W. Bush--
are usually just cheerleading sessions, full of sound and fury and signifying nothing but a soothing reduction in blood pressure brought about by the narcotic high of being agreed with. --Bill Whittle
War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse. The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself.
--John Stuart Mill--
We are determined that before the sun sets on this terrible struggle, our flag will be recognized throughout the world as a symbol of freedom on the one hand and of overwhelming force on the other. --General George Marshall--
We can continue to try and clean up the gutters all over the world and spend all of our resources looking at just the dirty spots and trying to make them clean. Or we can lift our eyes up and look into the skies and move forward in an evolutionary way.
America is the greatest, freest and most decent society in existence. It is an oasis of goodness in a desert of cynicism and barbarism. This country, once an experiment unique in the world, is now the last best hope for the world.
Recent anti-Israel protests remind us again of our era's peculiar alliance: the most violent, intolerant, militantly religious movement in modern times has the peace movement on its side. --James Lileks--
As a wise man once said: we will pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, in order to assure the survival and the success of liberty.
Unless the price is too high, the burden too great, the hardship too hard, the friend acts disproportionately, and the foe fights back. In which case, we need a timetable.
I am not willing to kill a man so that he will agree with my faith, but I am prepared to kill a man so that he cannot force my compatriots to submit to his.
You can say what you want about President Bush; but the truth is that he can take a punch. The man has taken a swift kick in the crotch for breakfast every day for 6 years and he keeps getting up with a smile in his heart and a sense of swift determination to see the job through to the best of his abilties.
In a perfect world, We'd live in peace and love and harmony with each oither and the world, but then, in a perfect world, Yoko would have taken the bullet.
Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children what it was once like in the United States where men were free. --Ronald Reagan--
America is rather like life. You can usually find in it what you look for. It will probably be interesting, and it is sure to be large. --E.M. Forster--
Do not fear the enemy, for your enemy can only take your life. It is far better that you fear the media, for they will steal your HONOR. That awful power, the public opinion of a nation, is created in America by a horde of ignorant, self-complacent simpletons who failed at ditching and shoemaking and fetched up in journalism on their way to the poorhouse. --Mark Twain--
The Enlightenment was followed by the French Revolution and the Napoleonic wars, which touched every European state, sparked vicious guerrilla conflicts across the Continent and killed millions. Then, things really turned ugly after the invention of soccer. --Iowahawk--
Every time I meet an Iraqi Army Soldier or Policeman that I haven't met before, I shake his hand and thank him for his service. Many times I am thanked for being here and helping his country. I always tell them that free people help each other and that those that truly value freedom help those seeking it no matter the cost. --Jack Army--
Right, left - the terms are useless nowadays anyway. There are statists, and there are individualists. There are pessimists, and optimists. There are people who look backwards and trust in the West, and those who look forward and trust in The World. Those are the continuums that seem to matter the most right now. --Lileks--
The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.
A man or a nation is not placed upon this earth to do merely what is pleasant and what is profitable. It is often called upon to carry out what is both unpleasant and unprofitable, but if it is obviously right it is mere shirking not to undertake it. --Arthur Conan Doyle--
A man who has nothing which he cares about more than he does about his personal safety is a miserable creature who has no chance of being free, unless made and kept so by the existing of better men than himself. --John Stuart Mill--
After the attacks on September 11, 2001, most of the sheep, that is, most citizens in America said, "Thank God I wasn't on one of those planes." The sheepdogs, the warriors, said, "Dear God, I wish I could have been on one of those planes. Maybe I could have made a difference." --Dave Grossman--
At heart Iâ€™m a cowboy; my attitude is if theyâ€™re not going to stand up and fight for what they believe in then they can go pound sand. --Bill Whittle--
A democracy is always temporary in nature; it simply cannot exist as a permanent form of government. A democracy will continue to exist up until the time that voters discover that they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates who promise the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that every democracy will finally collapse due to loose fiscal policy, which is always followed by a dictatorship. --Alexander Tyler--
By that time a village half-wit could see what generations of professors had pretended not to notice. --Atlas Shrugged--
I kept asking Clarence why our world seemed to be collapsing and everything seemed so shitty. And he'd say, "That's the way it goes, but don't forget, it goes the other way too." --Alabama Worley--
So Bush is history, and we have a new president who promises to heal the planet, and yet the jihadists donâ€™t seem to have got the Obama message that there are no enemies, just friends we havenâ€™t yet held talks without preconditions with.
"I had started alone in this journey called life, people started
gathering up on the way, and the caravan got bigger everyday." --Urdu couplet
The book and the sword are the two things that control the world. We either gonna control them through knowledge and influence their minds, or we gonna bring the sword and take their heads off. --RZA--
It's a daily game of public Frogger, hopping frantically to avoid being crushed under the weight of your own narcissism, banality, and plain old stupidity. --Mary Katharine Ham--
There are more instances of the abridgment of freedoms
of the people by gradual and silent encroachment of those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations. --James Madison--
It is in the heat of emotion that good people must remember to stand on principle. --Larry Elder--
Please show this to the president and ask him to remember the wishes of the forgotten man, that is, the one who dared to vote against him. We expect to be tramped on but we do wish the stepping would be a little less hard. --from a letter to Eleanor Roosevelt--
The world economy depends every day on some engineer, farmer, architect, radiator shop owner, truck driver or plumber getting up at 5AM, going to work, toiling hard, and producing real wealth so that an array of bureaucrats, regulators, and redistributors can manage the proper allotment of much of the natural largess produced. --VDH--
Parents are often so busy with the physical rearing of children that they miss the glory of parenthood, just as the grandeur of the trees is lost when raking leaves. --Marcelene Cox--